Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been in the hot seat this week as he sat for a congressional hearing regarding the embarrassing, botched U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan that resulted in disaster for President Joe Biden and his administration.
According to Breitbart, one of the issues Blinken was asked to address was the leaked July phone call between Biden and then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in which Biden allegedly pressured him to make it sound as if the Afghan military was winning the war to keep the Taliban under control — an incident that Blinken refused to confirm or deny.
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) was the House Foreign Affairs Committee member to question Blinken about the phone call, which if proven true, would easily be grounds for impeachment — at least on the Democrats’ standards for such punitive actions.
“Did you concur and support President Biden’s July 23 phone call telling President Ghani to be untruthful about the Taliban’s success?” Smith asked of the secretary of state.
He went on to say: “According to Reuters, which reviewed both the transcript and the audio, President Biden said, quote, ‘and there’s a need, whether it be true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.’ Was that an ad-lib by President Biden or was that lie scripted into the phone call, and if it was scripted, by who?”
Blinken eventually addressed the congressman’s question, responding with, “I’m not going to be commenting on any purportedly leaked transcripts.” He continued by stating what he believes the president said in the phone call.
“The president said in that conversation with then-President Ghani is exactly what he was saying in public … that the issue is not the capacity at that point of the Afghan government and the Afghan security forces to hold the country and to hold Kabul; it was their will and whether they had a plan to do so and we were concerned that they were not demonstrating that will or that plan,” Blinken said.
Of course, Blinken’s account doesn’t exactly jive with the bombshell report published by Reuters last month, which clearly revealed that Biden pressured Ghani into lying about the rapidly devolving situation in Afghanistan.
Blinken doubles down
When pressed again by the congressman about the leaked phone call transcript, Blinken once again denied that Biden did anything wrong, and seemed to insist that there was nothing in the call that Biden said that he hadn’t said publicly, which again, was a lie.
“Again, I’m not commenting on any purportedly leaked transcripts,” Blinken responded. “I’m telling you what, based on my knowledge of the conversation, the president said and what he said is exactly what he said in public.”
It wouldn’t be a stretch to presume that if Republicans manage to win back majority control of the House — and maybe the Senate — Biden’s phone call with Ghani will be revisited, hopefully in the form of an impeachment inquiry.